Meeting the RTE commitment: Engaging with non-formal basic education across Pakistan (2015)

This report, produced through a joint collaboration between SAHE and Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS) sought to fill the gap in information on the Non-Formal Basic Education (NFBE) sector in Pakistan and report on its current state with a view to providing insight into the institutional arrangements, the role of the community and factors that impact teacher performance as well as student performance. The study consisted of three phases: (1) an initial mapping phase; (2) a quantitative survey; and (3) a qualitative phase which entailed semi-structured interviews with teachers and program staff, community focus group discussions and classroom observations.

Findings show that the NFBE sector provides a cost effective alternative to formal education by providing basic literacy and numeracy to children in the early grades for whom access to public schools may be limited due to distance and to private schools on grounds of affordability. Learning levels of these students compare favorably with their counterparts in government and private sector schools in reading while they lag behind in math. The report recommends the creation of standards and provincial-level strategies for the NFBE sector; formation of better linkages between the NFBE and formal education sectors; provision of effective support to teachers in terms of professional development and continuous in-classroom support; as well as ensuring that early childhood education is also provided at NFBE centers.

Author(s): Ayesha A. Awan, Muhammad Azhar, Abbas Rashid, Faisal Bari, Irfan Muzaffar, Muhammad Farooq Naseer, Usman Elahi, Waqas Sheikh and Zohra Sohail

Sponsor(s): Ilm Ideas 1